We’re only here 4 days but what can we say, Manila is full on. Here is the view from our balcony from WakWak in Greenhills. Not many hills and only a little green…
Except for the exclusive golf course to the right for the lucky few. Everywhere else, as far as the eye can see, are built-up.
Craig (my partner) wanted to see something historical and somehow came across a walking tour online called “Walk this Way“. It was being run by an artist called Carlos Celdran at Fort Santiago in Old Manila. I didn’t really know what to expect, as I didn’t know the artist (only what Craig and I read together online); nor much about Fort Santiago- despite the fact that my father’s family used to live in and had businesses (which all had fallen into disrepair and sold over the decades) in a nearby place called Ermita (some 2 kms away). So being the clueless Filipino coupled to the even more clueless foreigner, I tagged along.
It was a very powerful show, despite the simple production values (one man with a few props) and we learnt something about Philippine history too. I’d say this tour is definitely a better way to see Manila, and worth the effort to go to, even if you are short on time. It gave humanity and context to what seemed like a chaotic city on steroids.
Part of the show was a ride on a Kalesa (a horse drawn carriage) through Old Manila, with the Kalesa driver (in costume) acting as a guide as well. It was a really fun way to get around – to be out in the fresh air, with the feint scent of the horses and hearing the musical clip-clopping of their shoes. I’m not really sure if I’ve ridden in one before or not. My mom told me in passing once, that my maternal great great grand-father composed a song about Kalesas before I was born (I never had a chance to meet him). So I’ve always had a soft spot for one because of that. Also I was born in the Year of the Horse 🙂
Sylvia La Torre, a famous Filipino singer, singing “Kalesa”
Not much of a holiday yet, but very stimulating all the same.
Thank you Manila! x Vienna